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ADAP In-District Meeting Guide

Presenter: Jim Merrell AIDS Foundation of Chicago


What’s in this presentation? In-District Meetings

Finding your Members of Congress

Organizing a Meeting

Post-Meeting Follow-up


In-District Meetings • Members of Congress have offices located in their home states. – U.S. Senators have offices located throughout their state – U.S. Representatives may have one or more offices in their district

• Constituents – the people who live in the area represented by the Member – can set up meetings to discuss important topics with the Member or their staff. • When these meetings take place in the Member’s home state – they’re called in-district meetings.


How to Organize an In-District Meeting

Find out Who Represents You

Find Partners and Get Organized

Make Your Visit and Follow-up


Finding Your Member of Congress Every Citizen has three Members of Congress*

Before you can set up a meeting, you need to know who represents you in Congress.

One U.S. Representative

Two U.S. Senators *Note: residents of Washington, D.C. and U.S. territories are represented by non-voting delegates


Finding your Member of Congress is‌


1. Go to VoteSmart.org


2. Enter your Zip Code


You May Have to Add Your 9-digit Zip, which you can find on the U.S. Postal Service website‌


3. Meet Your Members!


Click on an Official’s Name to Find Their Contact Info


Organizing a Meeting At this stage you’ll have to think about:

Finding other advocates Scheduling the meeting Preparing your talking points Practice delivering them!


What if no one in my area is organizing a meeting? Try reaching out to these groups:

AIDS Service Organizations

HIV Prevention and Care Planning Councils

Local Health Departments

Human Service Agencies

Churches


Scheduling the Meeting

Fax

• Using the contact info from VoteSmart, find the fax number for the district office you plan to visit • Write a letter requesting a meeting and fax it to the office • Use the sample provided in this toolkit

Call

• After faxing, call the office and ask to speak to the scheduler • You may have to call several times and may only be able to set up a time to meet with staffers (that’s ok!)

Confirm

• After you set up the meeting time, you should call the office again the week of the meeting to confirm the appointment


Sample Meeting Request Letter Key Points: Date Recipient’s Address Recipient’s Fax Number Message with Request


Preparing Your Talking Points

Policy Ask

Personal Story

Local Context

Effective Advocacy


Preparing Your Talking Points

Policy Ask

Personal Story

Local Context

Effective Advocacy


Policy Ask - ADAP Crisis Update • According to the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) – as of July 29, 2010 there were 2,359 individuals on ADAP waiting lists in 13 states. • A total of 27 states have or are anticipating implementing costcontainment measures. Map produced by NASTAD – find more at nastad.org


Policy Asks – Continued • Community is requesting $126 in immediate emergency assistance for ADAPs in the current fiscal year (FY 2010).

Ask #1 Ask #2

Status: The Obama administration has announced $25 million in emergency funds for FY 2010, but still uncertain how these funds will be distributed. While a promising start, this amount still fails to meet the current fiscal year need.

• Community is requesting a $370 million increase in ADAP funds for FY 2011 beginning April 1, 2011. Status: House and Senate committees have both requested only a $50 million increase in preliminary appropriations legislation.


Preparing Your Talking Points

Policy Ask

Personal Story

Local Context

Effective Advocacy


Preparing Your Talking Points

Policy Ask

Personal Story

Local Context

Effective Advocacy


Personal Story • Use the Tell Your Story Worksheet to get organized. Available at aidsconnect.net/dose • Make the connection between the issues and your personal story • Tell how your life has been affected by ADAP or will be affected by reduced or inadequate services.


Preparing Your Talking Points

Policy Ask

Personal Story

Local Context

Effective Advocacy


Preparing Your Talking Points

Policy Ask

Personal Story

Local Context

Effective Advocacy


Local Context • ADAP programs are jointly funded by state and federal dollars and administered by individual states, so programs vary from state to state • The more specific information on your state’s program you can share, the more your members of congress will listen: – Does your state have a wait list? – Has your state instituted other cost-containment measures? • You can find out more about your state’s ADAP program by contacting your state health department or online at the National Association of State and Territorial AIDS Director’s website: www.nastad.org


Preparing Your Talking Points

Policy Ask

Personal Story

Local Context

Effective Advocacy


Preparing Your Talking Points Key Points: • ADAP waiting lists for HIV medications will cause people with HIV across the nation to become needlessly sick and die. • ADAP waiting lists will worsen existing racial and economic health disparities. • HIV treatment keeps people and communities healthier.


Practice Delivering Your Talking Points • If you are making the visit with a group of advocates, divide the topics among the group and practice delivering them together. • If you are on your own, find a friend to stand-in as the legislator to help you rehearse. • REMEMBER: Tell your story and DON’T FORGET TO MAKE THE POLICY ASK!


Make Your Visit and Follow-Up Meeting Day Checklist: • Dress professionally • Bring copies of factsheets • Arrive 15 minutes early • Be polite and courteous • Take note of any questions or requests for additional information • Remember to thank the Congressperson or staffer for their time • Tell them you will follow-up


Don’t Forget to Follow-Up! • At the end of your meeting, tell the Congressperson or staffer that you will follow up with them soon • Send a thank you card to reiterate your ask and show your appreciation • Send them the additional information they requested and/or answers to their questions • Keep track of their support or opposition to your asks and call or write to say thank you or to keep pushing them


Questions? Contact: Jim Merrell AIDS Foundation of Chicago 312-784-9048 jmerrell@aidschicago.org aidsconnect.net/dose


ADAP In-District Meeting Guide